CFP 31.03.2017

Modernist Sculpture and Culture (Split, 26-27 Oct 17)

Department of Art History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Croatia, 26.–27.10.2017
Eingabeschluss : 20.05.2017

Dalibor Prancevic, University of Split, Faculty of Philosophy

Modernist Sculpture and Culture: Historiographical Approaches and Critical Analyses

Modern sculpture and its chronological, spatial, and terminological (re)defining poses a permanent challenge to researchers. Hence, this conference is conceived as a platform for considering wider contextual boundaries in sculptural production between the last decades of the 19th century and the mid-1970s such as: social conditions, historical-political events, economic circumstances and aesthetic demands. Special attention will be given to the phenomena in the field of sculpture excluded from the dominant art historical narratives, such as gender issues and similar particular perspectives. Furthermore, the conference will include a discussion on a variety of forms in which sculpture is manifested and produced; from traditional models and procedures such as casting, chiselling, carving, to conceptual turns and the creation of a brand new visual language of sculpture as well as terms used to describe it. Thus, the platform will support critical evaluations and analyses of the approaches employed in modern sculpture production up to now, and attempt to suggest or define new art historical insights as well as methodologies used in research and analyses of modern sculpture.
Furthermore, we would like to invite presentations focusing on geographic and national spaces outlining various influences, exchanges or clashes in which the movements of sculptors and their work through different European and global political and cultural geographies can be tracked (in the form of exhibitions, acquisitions, and public reception).
It will be important to highlight the category of “publicness” and “visibility” of sculpture and ways in which it is achieved; from public monuments as the most representative mediators of complex socio-political and economic factors, to chamber sculptures most frequently mediated via temporary exhibitions and means of technical reproduction (catalogues, books, newspapers, etc.), from their making and installation in public spaces, to their destruction and potential rehabilitation/historisation.

We welcome presentations up to 20 minutes in length, with themes related to the following issues:

- how to define modern sculpture’s temporal boundaries;
- which political, social and economic factors determine modern sculpture production and in what ways;
- where sculpture stands in relation to dominant cultural concepts in specific socio-political paradigms and what happens to it after a paradigm shift;
- what comparative models of sculptural production exist in Europe and the world and how and why connections are established between some geographical and cultural territories;
- in which specific geographical locations the greatest exchanges between the sculptors’ ideas in the designated period took place;
- how to perceive the idea of a dominant centre and a passivized periphery today and in what measure and how it is possible to transgress this idea on the examples of sculptural works in specific national and/or cultural spaces;
- what the role and nature of modern portrait sculpture is and to what extent it is possible to consider it a reflection/generator of social and political networking and cultural diplomacy;
- which specific narratives are related to sculpture and in what degree they are important for its comprehension and “orientation” in the process of translation between different semantic contexts;
- what kind of language is used to describe modern sculpture and what kind of thesaurus can be generated in that sense;
- how sculpture is mediated to the public, i.e. what systems of mechanic and virtual reproduction mean for its reception;
- how to approach sculpture as a “mediator of memory” and how the knowledge about it relates to archives and databanks, i.e. defining the connection between sculpture, archives and databanks;
- how conceptual turns in the field of artistic activity reflect on the understanding and language of sculpture and its manifestation.

English is the official language of the conference.

Applications are submitted by filling in the Google Forms application form at the following link:

Participants should fill in all the fields according to the instructions paying special attention to the following fields: “Abstract” (max. 300 words) and “CV” (which should include professional and scientific interests/field of expertise, detailed affiliation information and a short list of up to 5 relevant published works).
Since the official language of the conference is English, we kindly ask that you write your abstracts, CVs and all other information in the application form in English.

The Scientific Committee will inform all applicants of the final selection by June 15, 2017.

The participation fee is 75 euros.

The conference organisers are unable to cover travel and accommodation costs for speakers. Interested parties are encouraged to apply for aid from their respective institutions. If there should be several inquiries regarding accommodation, the organiser is willing to offer a limited possibility of affordable accommodation (around 30 euros per night).

The conference will take place at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Croatia. It will include a visit to the Ivan Meštrović Museums (Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović's Crikvine-Kaštilac), where the works of Ivan Meštrović, one of the most famous modern Croatian sculptors, are being permanently kept and displayed; in a space conceived and built by Meštrović himself in the 1930s.

Should you have any further questions, please contact the organiser at the following email address: .

The conference is part of the CROSCULPTURE research project (IP-2016-06-2112) which is supported by the Croatian Science Foundation.

Full project title: Manifestations of Modern Sculpture in Croatia: Sculpture on the Crossroads between Socio-political Pragmatism, Economic Possibilities and Aesthetical Contemplation

CFP: Modernist Sculpture and Culture (Split, 26-27 Oct 17). In:, 31.03.2017. Letzter Zugriff 17.07.2024. <>.